BSC reacts to Georgia campus carry bill that went into effect July 1

Published 2:11 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

Thursday, May 4, 2017 Gov. Nathan Deal passed a piece of legislation allowing for people with permits to carry concealed handguns on Georgia’s public college campuses. The bill went into effect last Thursday, July 1.

Bainbridge State College is one of the many colleges affected by this new law. The law prohibits students from carrying their concealed handguns inside on-campus preschools, faculty or administrative offices, disciplinary hearings and areas attended by high school students who take college classes. With 35-40 percent of students at BSC in the MOWR program and still being in high school, this will be of particular importance.

BSC Chief of police, James Spooner does not think this law will make security any more difficult. He said they have presented a series of presentations about the new law to the faculty and staff and each new student orientation packet will also be briefed on the new law. The University of Georgia system has provided BSC with a lot of guidance, according to Spooner and they are monitoring the situation closely to see what may need improving upon.

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Although the areas students cannot carry are clearly defined in the new law, BSC will not be posting any additional reminders. “The University has decided not to put up any additional signage,” Spooner said. “Handgun carriers need to be familiar with where they can and cannot carry.”

The law will require people to be at least 21 or 18 with proof of basic training or active service in the military to receive a concealed carry permit. Applicants have to provide fingerprints, which are used by state agencies to check for criminal records. In addition, they will have to clear federal background checks. For this reason, Spooner does not anticipate any trouble and hopes it is not a problem for anyone.

BSC Interim President, Stuart Rayfield assures everyone that “Bainbridge State College is complying with the law and will continue to keep our campus safe for students.”